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Architects of the Realms of Valhalla Discussion and presentation of the maps approved by the ARV.

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Old February 3rd, 2019, 06:13 PM
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The Scroll of The Crypt

By Flash_19

Download, (Online Game)
Required sets:BftU, RotV, FotA


Map Bio -
The last rays of sunlight slowly slipped below the horizon as Mogrimm Forgehammer passed through the doorway and into the darkness of the crypt. The air was thick and warm inside and stones crunched under his feet as he walked further into the ancient tomb. He breathed deeply, relishing the smell of dirt and stone as his eyes adjusted to the dim light. After a moment he turned to face the four dwarves who accompanied him.

“There is treasure here. I can feel it.”

The words bounced and echoed off the tall stone walls and Mogrimm hesitated, wishing he hadn’t spoken so loudly. Before the dwarves could respond, a heavy thud resonated from the depths of the crypt. The ground shook as metal clanged against stone.

Gripping battle-worn axes, the dwarves waited, holding their ground as the sound of steps came towards them. In the dim light, Mogrimm could make out the shape of jagged armor and a monstrous sword.

Skull Demon.

The towering figure stopped, but the sound of steps continued. Others were coming. The Skull Demon’s eyes, visible through its massive helmet, burned with blue light as it stared at the dwarves. Wisps of pale blue smoke curled from its mouth as it spoke.

“Welcome… to your death.”


Sir Heroscape
I've loved playing on this map. for me.

This map is solid. I've played on it numerous times and I really do feel it fits the level of competitive play we're looking for. The build just drips with theme and it really does feel like I'm running around in the catacombs of an ancient crypt/tomb. The treasure glyph in "the crypt" is so awesome, and I love the central position as a fun little hideout, somewhat defensible, but far from overpowered...kinda reminds me of Balin's Tomb in Lord of the Rings when the Fellowship make their stand against the Goblins/Orcs and Cave Troll. I actually played Arrow Gruts with Rogirg & Grigor on this map and it was friggin' awesome!

Glyphs are placed very well, pathing is fantastic and army development is easy and smooth. I felt like there were plenty of opportunities to route the opponent, plenty of ways for melee to get help against range, and more than 1 way to play this map. All those things are what we're looking for in a competitive map build and I'm confident this map fits the ticket. I will say that flying figures with 6 move (namely dragons) are able to reach the center on turn 1 and try to grab the treasure glyph...but it's not the highest position on the map, and the opponent can still develop fast enough to contest most all positions on this map. I feel really good about this one and would be happy to induct it into the archives of our maps!

First thing to be noted about this map is just how much it really captures the feel of a battle in a crypt. The fortress pillars and road are combined really well to create a battlefield that really captures the feel of a crypt raid, defense, or just all out battle. It's super thematic and makes for immersive battles.

The many LoS blockers on the map make for a lot of choke points, but fortunately there are enough paths through the map that these weren't as bad as it seemed. Rats and Gladiatrons can still clog the map pretty well, but players can use the LoS blockers to hide while trying to clear out those screens.

That said, those clog-loving armies do get stronger with Raelin on the map, who has a great spot to hide on the single rock hex just outside the right hand of the start zone. From there she can cover a couple more pieces of height while remaining fairly hidden. (That area in general, in fact, is just one of the strongest spots to hunker down on the map.) Raelin (or any other cheerleader) is also fairly protected there with the wall in front of the spot, and having a couple screening figures in each choke point into the area with range behind is a solid game plan.

Happily, hunkering down in that area has its limitations, mostly being map control. You get that area, but that means you'll be giving up at least one of the glyphs, or both if your opponent has something sturdy to hold the other glyph with. The wall that hides Raelin can also hide incoming forces from the other side, and they can attack a screen from relative safety. There is a lot of room to flank, and opportunity to punch the screen hard when needed.

My other main concern with the map was the use of the sets involved. A lot of the available terrain from the RotV and BftU sets goes unused, and you could almost drop the RotV set and make it with an additional BftU set (though you would be floating outcrops and shadow spaces). On the one hand, it does show restraint in not adding unneeded terrain, but when looking for tournament maps I do like to be sure that my terrain feels well-used, and when I can make a map with a set that takes half the terrain, it catches my eye.

In the end, The Crypt makes for a lot of different play style options and great thematic battles. Even against pods, armies can use careful play to gain an advantage, though it does take more effort on this map than others. It's close for this one, but in the end I think its great gameplay and theme win out to prove it's a strong map for competitive play.

I vote for The Crypt.

The Crypt is one of the most thematic two-player competitive maps that I have come across. The look, feel, and gameplay are outstanding. After five battles on the map, I can say that there is much fun to be had and plenty of strategic choices to make. No two battles will be the same. The placement of glyphs and abundance of sight blockers are solid.

That being said, there are some issues that I noticed and had to overcome. 1) Placing those dragons that have spread wings was not possible in the center of the crypt and difficult in other spots. I eventually convinced myself that that is OK given the theme – there are just some places huge dragons should not be able to fit. Sujoah and the Wyvern love the crypt though and were able to get there in their first move. 2) The rock-hex height to the right of the start zone is an advantageous spot, but map coverage is not too extensive and there are plenty of routes to continue developing your army without the location becoming dominate. 3) I feared that there would be much clogging-up of the map with the narrow paths and abundance of castle walls. This did not occur in any of the five battles, but I didn’t give the rats a go either. In the end, I felt the map was too strong to let this be too much of a concern.

In total, The Crypt is a very solid map and will be a great addition to the ARV cannon of excellent tournament maps. I am going to keep the map up and use it our next tournament. I vote .

Last edited by Sir Heroscape; October 31st, 2019 at 12:38 AM.
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